tv Sen. Warren Rudman Memorial Service CSPAN December 1, 2012 8:00pm-9:30pm EST
[no audio] >> next is a tribute to senator warren rudman. after that, secretary of state hillary clinton on the situation in the middle east. on thursday, vice president biden and former congressional leaders gather to pay tribute to former new hampshire senator warren rudman. he is best remembered as a key player in the iran-contra negotiations.
>> good afternoon, everyone. we are still waiting on a few speakers. but i will begin. i am janeen shaheen, the senior senator from new hampshire, and i am pleased to be here with my colleague, senator ayotte, to welcome to this reception celebrating the life and service of warren rudman. we are honored to join in hosting this reception. senator rudman has been hailed as a public servant who reached across party lines to get the job done for his country and his state. warren rudman's independence and courage, his focus on maintaining good government, and fierce loyalty to his home state, new hampshire, is something we in congress strive to attain. we will miss him, but we will try to live by the standards he set.
i remember back when he was chairing the iran-contra hearings in this room. even though we were from different parties, thinking how proud i was that he represented the state of new hampshire. i offer my condolences to the entire rudman family, to his wife, margaret, to children and grandchildren. looking at the celebrated speakers who are here today to remember warren rudman, it is clear just how significant his contributions were to the senate and to this country. i am pleased to introduce my colleague, the other senator from the state of new hampshire, kelly ayotte. [applause] >> i want to thank my colleague,
senator shaheen, and i want to thank our distinguished guests who are here. as we gather to celebrate the achievements of a great man, warren rudman, a statesman who carried out the people's work with honesty, integrity, and decency. daniel webster once said, "in the mountains of new hampshire, god almighty has hung out a sign to show that there he makes men." he was referring to our beloved old man of the mountain, but this famous quote could just as easily have described our dear friend, senator rudman. he left a tremendous impact on new hampshire, and then today, we will honor his many achievements in this esteemed body of the united states senate.
he also left in new hampshire a very proud legacy at the attorney general's office before he served at the senate. i have the privilege of serving as the attorney general of new hampshire. in my view and the views of many others, warren rudman was the finest attorney general to serve in the history of the state of new hampshire because he enhanced the stature of the office and he raised the level of professionalism of the attorney general's office. everyone who thereafter served aspired to be measured by how he served in that office. senator rudman had new hampshire in his blood.
he was straightforward and determined and he used his talents in the u.s. senate to pass important legislation, including the gramm-rudman deficit law, which was so important at the time. those issues remain important today. he did not aspire to be a politician, and he did not have to like one. he cared deeply. [laughter] we know he cared deeply about our country and devoted himself because he had a calling to shape and preserve our country's future. he believed deeply in the rule of law and used the force of his intellect to defend it. one of the things that is most telling about warren rudman is the statement that represents what he was all about.
he once said -- i consider myself an american first and a republican second. fiercely independent, and totally committed to the common good, he had the courage of his convictions and stood for what he believed in. in bidding farewell to the senate in 1992, he expressed gratitude for the opportunity to serve in the senate with talented colleagues. many are here today to speak about their experiences with him. he also expressed his hope for the future of the senate, saying it is a very special place with very special people. i hope in the coming years that the institution can coalesce to bring those talents together in a bipartisan way to do what is good for america.
as our country continues to face challenges, may all of us remain mindful of warren rudman's wise words and the powerful example that he set. now it is my honor and pleasure to introduce our master of ceremonies today for this memorial tribute, someone that warren rudman described as being like a very special young brother. when warren rudman first met david souter in the new hampshire attorney general's office, it was there that justice souter served as warren's deputy. they developed a special rapport. senator rudman called their relationship the most rewarding, exciting, and fulfilling experience of his professional life.
anyone who knew warren rudman's admiration for justice souter and understood their friendship would appreciate how appropriate it is for him to preside over this celebration of warren's life and accomplishments. justice souter's presence here today is the only way to properly honor warren rudman's life and achievements. he had great confidence in justice souter and was his strongest advocate in recommending and confirming him to our nation's highest court. ladies and gentlemen, it is my honor to introduce a proud new hampshire son and someone we are imminently proud of and that is justice david souter. [applause]
>> thank you very much, senator ayotte, for a generous introduction. thank you, senator shaheen, for seeing to it that we have room with historical residents and the residents in warren's own life to get together this afternoon. we are grateful to you. in thinking about what warren would say about this gathering to pay tribute to him if he were here, i keep thinking that despite being called master of ceremonies, if i could ask warren what my role here is this afternoon, he would probably look at the number of senators and former senator's here on the platform with me and the old golden gloves boxer in him
probably come out and he would say -- you're the referee. [laughter] under any title, i am very honored to be with margaret rudman and with members of the rudman family this afternoon and with all of you in spending some time thinking about and remembering the friend whom we will miss for the rest of our lives. i can tell you this -- as long as memory does serve us, we will not be able to think of warren rudman for very long -- of what he was or what he accomplished at the senate or outside the senate -- without thinking of good times. he was a statesman here. i cannot think about the
statesman without thinking personally about his generosity and all the laughs we had and all the fun we had together. for example, everyone knows that i would never have seen the supreme court if it had not been for the championship of warren rudman. what i learned quickly after my nomination and as i moved toward the confirmation hearings was that the very fact of an association of warren rudman was taken by a great many people and a great many senators as standing for a qualification for the appointment. this fact was born on to me one afternoon during the course of the confirmation hearings.
in the course of those hearings, the chairman of the judiciary committee, senator biden, as he was then, put a pointed question to me, a question that went right to the heart of qualification for the office. he called attention to the fact that i was a rural republican from almost as far north as you can get in the northeast. he posed the question whether i really could appreciate and hear the voices of people from a vast country who are very different from myself. he said -- how do we know that you will listen?
it was a tense moment in the hearing. thanks to warren, i had an answer. i said -- mr. chairman, anyone who has been a close friend of warren rudman's for an appreciative amount of time knows how to listen. [laughter] [applause] if the hearing had been about warren, i could have gotten the agreement on the senators about a lot of other traits of warren that i have learned years back when i served under him in the attorney general's office.
the people who did listen -- every man and woman to whom warren spoke -- always did and always would hear the same story. no matter which side of an issue you were on, you could learn what warren rudman's position was simply by asking him. no matter who you were -- whether you agreed or disagreed with him -- you got the same answer and you get the same courtesy. warren did not hate the people he disagreed with or who disagreed with him. what he would do instead was stick his hand out to them. a very great many of them ended up among his friends.
it is true that a few of the people who opposed him ended up with black eyes. [laughter] those were only the ones that were foolish enough to throw the first punch. when it came to a fight, warren was an old infantry soldier. he had come face-to-face close with death in korea. he had come back. it was no one on the face of the earth he was afraid of. there are a lot of other things that he was not afraid of, either. he was a man of extraordinarily strong conviction. if someone had a good enough argument for it, warren was not afraid to change his mind. he was not afraid of losing an
election, either, which goes a long way to explaining the independence, which has been mentioned this afternoon. it explains why it was impossible for warren rudman ever to end up beholden to money. no political action committee ever owned warren rudman. no interest group do, no corporation did, and no big donor did. he was a republican and the republican party did not own him. he was a new hampshire man all the way through and even the voters of new hampshire did not own him what they won it went against the grain of the national interest as a warren saw it. that is what he fought for -- the interest of the united states.
he fought for it in the senate. he fought for it afterwards. he did so with the same push and shove as his political hero, theodore roosevelt. he spent the last three years of his life trying to rescue the united states from the threats emanating from a divided middle east, from the country's negligence about national security, and from the self- destructive synergy of chronic deficits and delusional economics. that is a sketch of a great patriot and a great friend, too. i will yield to others who are going to fill in that the sketch, beginning with warren's close friend, the majority leader of the united states senate, senator reid.
[applause] >> we just made a deal. [laughter] the vice president and i were going to meet in the morning, but we will be in session tomorrow having votes. i also apologize. we have a bill that warren rudman was well aware of. the defense authorization bill is on the floor. i may have to excuse myself and go back and leave and try to work that out. we have given john mccain a little bit of time off from the floor tonight. i will go back to see if we can speed things up a little.
warren rudman was born with a fighting spirit. he learned that because of his being jewish. he fought anti-semitism. he fought it physically. that is how he learned how to be tough early on. he wrote that in his memoir. he was a boxer at syracuse university -- joe's school. he commanded an army infantry in the korean war, where he fought valiantly and was decorated for his heroism as a result of that. this shaped his views about the world. i learned in korea, he said, that war was a lousy idea. that is a direct quote from warren rudman. as a senator and later as a national security expert, he believed, that was a last
resort. he was a critic of the iraq war. he spoke out against the iraq war. he worried that our troops were not being taken care enough. there were being asked too much with too little. he considered his critique of the iraq war his patron of duty. he said he spoke out for the same reason -- patriotism -- when he volunteered and spent 13 months on the frontline in combat in korea. warren had a great respect for the bond shared by those who experienced combat -- from medal of honor awardee dan inouye, bob kerrey, who also won that coveted award. john mccain, fritz hollings, john kerry, bob dole, and others. all of whom served their country with valor.
here is what warren rudman said about that -- if you have had that experience, not much is left in life that will intimate you. nothing did intimate warren rudman. he was fearless in the pursuit for the right. he served on the ethics committee where i first got to know him -- warren rudman. justice souter and i talked about that a few days ago. i got a call from him and he asked me to come over and spend some time with him. i was happy to do that. he gave me an assignment. i was a new senator. the assignment was not an easy one.
they thought i could do it. it worked out just fine. i got to know him very well. on the ethics committee, he was known as mr. integrity. he was known as mr. integrity in everything he did in life. that put a big exclamation mark on his service in the senate. it is because of him and his high regard for this young man who he recommended be on the supreme court that i was able to make a friend. i have known a lot of people who have served on the supreme court. i have a friend in david souter. we have spent so much quality time. a lot of that time has been spent talking about warren rudman. we have laughed and frowned a few times about our experiences with warren rudman. i for no other reason will always remember warren rudman for helping me develop the relationship with this good man that is sitting behind me now. he was fearless in everything he did, but he warned of the perils
of our mounting national debt before it was the popular thing to do. he believed that fiscal responsibility should be no different than our security of our nation in other ways militarily. he said that fiscal responsibility should be chief among the concerns of the congress, second only to national defense. he believed fiscal security and national security were one in the same. as usual, he was right. even though he fought for fiscal responsibility, he was not the sort of fiscal conservative who was disagreeable about it. his rough exterior belied such a soft interior. he was such a good man and likeable man. the open secret in washington was warren rudman's winning salesmanship was a large part of how gramm-rudman-hollings became law. i do not mean in any way to belittle the responsibility in
the responsibility of senator hollings and our man right here. he was really a good salesman. i have to say this about phil gramm. it is not in my remarks. phil and i have had a lot of fun over the years. i am famous for saying things probably i should not, you know? [laughter] one of the things i told phil -- i have never known him to lose a debate or win a vote. [laughter] i just couldn't pass that up. i am only able to tell that in front of small audiences before. [laughter] he was a centrist never afraid to take on his own party to reach out to democrats. shortly before announcing he would not seek a third term to
serve people of new hampshire, he took both parties to task for failure to work together to stem these raising deficits. he said -- is it not possible with the brilliance, with the goodwill, with the good sense, could we not all come together? he said this on the senate floor. as a nation seeks solutions to the current fiscal crises, i hope we will reflect on the senator rudman's legacy. we should take his advice today and everyday -- to make common cause and seek common ground. in march, in 1992, he said this we are here for a blink of time. no matter how lofty we think our positions and how well we are thought of, most of us will be forgotten two years after we leave or maybe less than that. for once, warren rudman was wrong -- really wrong. to paraphrase daniel webster -- no time will efface the work of warren rudman to instill just
principles upon immortal minds. he will not be forgotten now or ever. thank you very much. [applause] >> thank you, senator. we will now hear from senator inouye. >> well, i hope warren is happy wherever he is. he should be. i have three items that i would like to discuss with you. i hope you will forgive me. i got to know warren in the iran-contra hearings. he was vice chairman.
i was chairman. on the first day, we sat together in a private room and i said -- as long as i am chair, i will be against subpoenaing the president and vice president of the united states. can you a imagine sitting up there and having the president on the floor raising his right hand, taking the oath and before the world testify being like a criminal? he looked at me and says -- you know dan, that is what i was
going to suggest -- you know dan, that is what i was going to suggest. [laughter] the man who worked it out to the other was howard baker. we entered the hearings, and we did not destroy the white house. we knew very little about what was happening. warren had friends in israel. the prime minister said -- if you wish to, i will range a meeting for you and inouye to meet ahead of mossad. it had never been done before. that is what we did. everything was laid out. the third item is a conspiracy. we were so close that we conspired. [laughter]
when saddam hussein began tossing scuds into israel, he felt something had to be done. at the time, there are no anti- missile missiles that were accurate. the only thing we had was the patriarch. we conspired with the secretary of defense and others and said how about setting up a battery in israel of patriots? publicize it. tell the iraqi people we will put this into action and put you out of business. we had a battery of missiles that did not work.
[laughter] but it scared the bejesus out of him.[laughter] i miss warren. he and i used to get into all kinds of mischief. one thing we valued very much -- we are both infantry people. infantry people do not b.s. each other. thank you. [applause] >> thank you, senator. it is my pleasure to call on senator mitchell.
>> mr. vice president, so many distinguished guests here, and the rudman family. it is an honor to celebrate the life and public service of a truly remarkable man. as a soldier fighting in north korea, as the attorney general of new hampshire, as a united states senator, as co-chairman of the iran-contra select committee, as the author of much legislation, including the principal author of what he referred to as the rudman budget bill -- [laughter] with which senators gramm and hollings were affiliated. [laughter]
warren rudman served the people of new hampshire and the united states with courage, integrity, and distinction. as individuals, we are diminished by the loss of a friend. as americans, we are diminished by the loss of a great leader. i met warren when i entered the senate. we immediately became good friends. we had a lot in common. justice souter referred to new hampshire as almost as far as you can go in the northeast. [laughter] well, maine is as far as you can go in the north east.
when warren was attorney general in new hampshire, i have been the united states attorney general and a district judge in maine. many members of justice warren's family lived in maine. warren's sister and her family still live in maine. warren also had a summer home there where he visited often, frequently flying his own plane. over the next two decades, we often worked together. we traveled together a great deal. we had some great times together. when i think of him, the world the word "irrepressible" comes to my mind.
webster must have had him in mind when he defined the word as "impossible to repress, restrain, or control." [laughter] warren was also energetic and curious. he was interested in issues, people, and controversy and life itself. he had an opinion on every subject. he did not keep his opinions to himself. [laughter] he expressed himself in direct, even blunt language, in a manner that captured and held attention. he was such an engaging person, even those who disagreed with him appreciated the intensity of his beliefs and the often colorful nature of his comments. in the senate, when he was on your side, he was a powerful advocate.
when he was on the other side, he was a strong and feared adversary. each of us here has a treasure trove of stories about warren. many of them, which he himself told about his service in the korean war. time permits just a couple. a few years ago, warren was the featured speaker at a dinner event. i had the pleasure of introducing him. in the course of my introduction, i had said he had reached the age where he said whatever was on his mind without any concern about what anyone else might think or how they might react. warren interrupted me with a loud stage whisper -- all of his
stage whispers were loud. he said that i was wrong -- that he had long ago reached that point. in fact, when he was 9. i told the audience that he was wrong. warren had reached the point of no concern when he was 9 years old. they laughed and applauded. afterward, warren said i still did not get it right -- i had reached that point when i was 9 months old. [laughter] in late 2000, violence erupted between palestinians and israelis. the leaders created an international commission to make recommendations on how to stop the violence and prevent its recurrence. warren and i were members of that commission. we traveled to and from and throughout the middle east. warren was there at his best.
he knew the issues. he knew the leaders. each side had a battery of lawyers. warren loved nothing better than arguing and jousting with and interrogating them over every issue that was presented. on one of our visits to gossip, we had a long meeting with the then chairman. when it ended, he as if we would go to a nearby building to meet with a group of what he described as civic leaders. he pointed out that it was a diverse group in there may be some hostile comments. he was confident that we could handle it. we agreed. we went.
we entered a large room with about 40 people seated and the table. as we walked four of the seats reserved for us at the head of the table, warren said -- remember, if you call on me, i am senator o'malley from massachusetts. [laughter] we took our seats and there followed an intensive discussion. a few minutes after it started, when the first hostile speaker got up, warren got up and said have to go to the bathroom. he was gone for a long time. when he came back, he did not come and sit at the head of the table. he went and sat with the staff at the back of the room. he sat there for three hours and remained completely silent. three hours later, on the ride back to israel, i said i have known you for 20 years. the matter with the setting of a subject, i have never seen you remain silent for three hours. he said -- do not worry. i will make up for a tomorrow in jerusalem.[laughter]
he did. for the next two days, he totally dominated the discussion. he briefly was a man for all seasons. he was intelligent, articulate, outgoing. he had a great sense of humor. he was human. like all of the rest of us, he made mistakes. in his life, warren experienced his share of tragedy. overall, he led a productive, highly successful, truly admirable life as a great american leader in government and in politics. it was an honor to serve with him in the senate. it was a great privilege to have him as a friend. thank you all very much. [applause]
>> thank you for the northern point of view. [laughter] it is now my privilege to call upon senator baker. >> mr. vice president, mr. justice, my colleagues, and friends. i was told once they should never invite me here to speak because the length of the remarks can be terrifying. they will not be. i wish to travel to washington to attend this event to express my friendship for warren rudman,
who was indeed my friend. i do not say that about everyone. i do not say it finally. he taught me, for instance, that political process in this country is mixed business. that the batter a party composition is not to be despised but to be admired and improved. that is the way that we gather together people of similar views or different views and test their ideas and translate them into public policy.
>> thank you, senator baker, very much. i have the privilege to call upon the senator who many people thought there's warren's first name, senator gramm. [applause] >> thank you very much. it is good to see my good friends, and mr. vice president, that includes you. [laughter] you have all heard about the two guys that were so close they were joined at the hip. warren rudman and i were so close we were joined at the hip by a hyphen. you have heard reference to
warren's sense of humor. in the seven years that we worked together on gramm rudman, i got to see it every day. i pondered what i could say about this good man that others are not going to say and say better. in trying to capture his sense of humor, which one of the millions of story should i tell? i decided on a letter. we got letters -- hundreds of them per week -- written to senator gramm rudman as if we were the same person. my inclination was to throw them away, but warren one of us to answer them. we divided them. we got this handwritten letter from a guy from cincinnati, ohio that said -- have you no compassion? have you no heart?
rudman said he would take that letter. he broke back -- compassion is what you do with your money, not what you do with someone else's money. then he vote -- it could be that i do not have a hard. i know gramm has a heart. he keeps it on a glass jar on his desk. [laughter] it bleeds every time we talk about balancing the budget. what made him different? one thing that made him different is that in a town where you round in a budget to the nearest $50 million, he had a profound understanding that every dollar we spent came from some real flesh and blood person.
he used to talk about the town meetings in new hampshire where they would debate a half the number about $250. -- half an hour about $250. he also understood that there was no possibility of dealing with the deficit if he were dealing with it at the appropriations level because every day every special interest group was looking over your left shoulder sending letters back home and telling people where they you cared about this interest or that interest. he told me -- no one had ever shown up at the appropriations committee to ask him to do something about not spending money. the idea of putting binding constraints on government was a natural approach. warren and i wrote the perfect law. co-e got senator mccain to
sponsor it. as we try to broaden out from there, we had to start compromising. we never intended the across the board cuts to go into effect. we wanted to make them so terrible that congress would have a shield for they could say to people -- i do not want to do these things. if i do not do that, look at the terrible things that happen. we started off with the idea that the first thing you should cut is the cost of living increases built into entitlements. we explained it to people as the plate glass effect. after we've visited with about 25 senators, we came back and struck it out of the bill. we continued to work, and we continued to compromise, and at the end of the day, the baby
was not as pretty as one we started, but we concluded it was pretty enough to continue on with it. warren rudman was a strong, courageous man. he stood up for principle. he was willing to fight for things. in this era where everyone in this town is focused on compromise, he was a person willing to compromise. he was willing to compromise based on his principles. his principal was -- government ought to pay its bill. government ought to operate within the broad constraints -- that it is a family or business. if anything was worth having, it was worth paying for either by cutting some programs or by paying for it with revenues. those are the principles he
fought for. those are the principles that we honor him for today. when i think of him, i think of the old poem, "a psalm of life" by longfellow. "lives of all great men all remind us. we can make our lives sublime and departing leave behind us footsteps on the sand of time." warren rudman left footprints on the u.s. senate. many people serve here and are soon forgotten. he is not one of them. the reasons are simple. he was admired. he had coverage. he had principle. he got things done.
he made things happen. he cared more about his country than he did about anything else. as a result, his country cares about him. we care about him. that is why we are here. that is why we are honoring him today. it is a great privilege to me to have my name associated with warren rudman. it is an association that i have always been proud of. it is an association that i am proud of today and that i will always be proud of. thank you very much. [applause] >> thank you, senator. i now have the pleasure of calling on warren's harness mate and friend, secretary peterson. [applause]
>> mr. vice president, the judge souter, margaret. it has been said that your friends are the family you choose. it is with pride and gratitude that i speak of my brother, warren. it was nearly a quarter of a century ago that i became the lucky beneficiaries of this rapidly deepening and growing friendship. i have been writing books about fiscal responsibility -- perhaps i should say fiscal irresponsibility -- the unsustainable and huge promises we were making in the serious question about how we're going to pay for them and who paid for
them. the one thing that these books have in common is they were relentlessly boring. [laughter] i have become the favorite roastee of ted sorensen. he said -- once you put it down, you'll not be able to pick it up. [laughter] i have also written a book on the demographic transformation of the world called "gray dawn." it was renamed by was "the gray yawn." the books were serious. we needed a bipartisan group to encourage public awareness and try to get some action. this effort had to be headed by figures of great respect and
integrity. it was obvious an investment banker, like myself, with negative charisma was hardly the right person for that. on the democratic side, a democratic senator seemed like an obvious choice. he had emerged from the 1992 provincial election with integrity. he had a certain brand of charisma. who would be the charismatic republican co-head of this activity? my wife is a yellow dog democrat.
i had trouble saying that. she was not very helpful. to her, a charismatic republican is almost an oxymoron. she said, the one that came on the show one night, we noticed that a senator of new hampshire was being interviewed. man, he was something. he was serious, but not somber. he knew the facts of our budget reality and spoke of them with a clarity and a passion. what struck me was how much he cared. he was not just saying the words, but he meant them. my wife said, there is your man. was she ever right.
i asked if he would join this effort, and without a pause, he said, yes. not only was the concorde coalition born, but also it was the beginning of my very special lifetime relationship. he did everything he said he would. if he said he was going to lend his word, he would lend it. he was, in my view, the dearest and bestest of friends. indeed, i call him the perfect friend. if he said he would be there, he was there. he was always the same giving human being when it came to love. he calls me to ponder what it is -- sorry, my vision is not
as good as it used to be. maybe it is not worth reading. i do not know. [laughter] he had me pondering the question as to whether it is possible to have a friend that you adore without any ambivalence. i had no ambivalence about warren rudman. there are all kinds of friendships -- there is a special kind and the friendship borne of special beliefs and battles. you are strong together. suddenly you are in each other's lives and then you are each other's friends. i came to cherish that kind of gift from political life in the example of warren rudman. a word about patriotism, warren
was a patriot, but a very special kind of patriot. he was always showing in his public battles the sweetest kind of patriotism, and that is protectiveness. he was protective of america. he wanted us strong and solvent so that she would do her best to be her best self and do great things around the world and at home. i think we want to think of his last days that he would want us to think about his protectiveness. i am grateful to stand with him shoulder to shoulder for all of those years. rest in peace, my dear brother. thank you.
[applause] >> thank you, mr. secretary. i now have the honor to call upon warren's colleague and his endeavors in the last few years. sandy. [applause] >> warren did not stop being warren when he got to the senate. he brought the same qualities to the private sector and to the public missions he was quickly called upon to undertake. unrelenting, caring, fair- minded and always honest.
>> warren did not stop being warren when he got to thehis sef president clinton foreign intelligence advisory board, i watched him investigate some incredibly delicate and politically sensitive matters. president clinton trusted warren without question to get to the bottom and give him advice free of any personal agenda or partisanship. later as co-chairman of the commission of national security with senator hart, he examined the state of homeland defense. he concluded it was terrible. nine months before 9/11, he recommended -- the homeland of security. it was not that he had some magic mirror to look around the corner of time.
he looked hard at the facts. he was not afraid to draw the necessary and sometimes lonely conclusions. warren always looked at the facts. like any great lawyer, that was his starting point. he was impatient with ideology. he wanted the evidence and then he would jot his conclusions and chart his course. we would all do well to embrace today -- embrace that today. as a lawyer, he was a champion. he became the go-to person for companies who need someone of impeccable and credibility to get to the bottom of some corporate mess and find out what happened and what needed to be done to make it right. he brought the same doggedness
to the investigations as he did to his work on iran-contra. the remarkable thing is, regardless of his report, no one questioned his validity. warren collaborated the founding of our firm. he joined it as co-chair. when we faced hard decisions, he got to the heart of the matter. he was a model and a mentor to many. he would go to the office of a junior person, chat, and give them some advice. quality time with senator rudman sometimes left you breathless.
warren dealt with his illness like everything else in life -- unbounded courage. he was not a passive recipient of his care and treatment. he was co-pilot. he learned everything there was to know about it. he found the best experts. he plowed ahead with fierce determination. everyone in the firm was proud of him. his presence enhanced us. his wisdom guided us. his integrity fired us. his memory will always lift us up. thank you. [applause] >> thank you. i have the honor to call upon warren's good friend, senator mccain. [applause]
>> thank you. wonderful to be with many of my old and dear friends and enemies. [laughter] my friend warren was rough and dissatisfied and impatient and blunt and occasionally profane. he was independent-minded and stubborn. in other words, he was my ideal senator who possessed all of the attributes of an irresistible personality. i like and admire him an awful lot. he seemed to be one of a kind in the senate. the people of the new hampshire are sturdy, problem solvers who take responsibilities for themselves and the problems of their time. they like to get done what can
be done, even if it involves the dreaded proposition, compromise. without a lot of posturing or second-guessing, on issues that he believed were elemental questions are right and wrong, he was like his state -- immovable. he introduced me to new hampshire. i mean that literally. he introduced me to thousands of his constituents from berlin -- when i ran for president in 2000. he instructed on how to communicate my message effectively, which is campaign speech for how to talk to people. winning the primary would significantly improve if i learned to talk to the people of new hampshire like warren talked to them, which was to listen to them first and then respond lightly, -- bluntly, honestly, and argumentatively.
it was exactly as he predicted. he assured me on primary night as the last votes were counted that he had -- it was precisely as he told me it would be weeks ago. that was warren. he did not want to be surprised by anything that and in the state of new hampshire or the campaign he was involved in. he was a wise man. his wisdom was never more acute than when he applied it retroactively.
[laughter] warren's certainty and his own judgment was earned honestly. it came from doing the right thing not for personal a party interest, but the first priority of his public service. if you are intent on doing right by the people you serve and advancing the public good as he was, god will give you the wisdom to know what the right thing is. the right thing is not just to distinguish right from wrong, good from evil, but the better thing from the easy thing, the necessary thing from the popular thing, the modest progress from the not good enough thing. that kind of wisdom was manifest, i think, and his assessment. the automatic budget cuts was a bad idea. in 1990, i was a member of an organization i would have preferred not to join.
i was stuck in what seemed to be an eternity in the ethics committee investigation co- chaired by warren. he was sympathetic to my situation. i was miserable. i believe the committee should've acted swiftly to decide a case against john glenn and me. i think warren thought it should have to. politics made impossible for the committee to reach a just result. warren was intent on achieving a just result. he was my friend. he wish i could've been released from the committee sooner, but he could not and would not value our friendship more than he valued justice. that was a lesson of integrity i did not enjoy learning, but i
am glad i learned it. i'm glad i learned it from the example of warren rudman. the night before the 2000 new hampshire primary, warren graciously hosted a dinner for me at his home. he gave a toast and said we would win. he said he was proud to be art of a campaign. i remember thinking, win or lose, i had been part of something that warren rudman is proud of. i was a very proud man indeed. besides being gruff, he was first and last, a man of integrity.
chatting. he bet me that he would give the shortest speech. [laughter] for me to win that, i would have to sit down right now. warren was my friend. i met him back in 1975. i was campaigning for president ford's election. we became good friends from that time. six years later we would serve in the senate together. we learned we had a lot in common. both our grandfathers immigrated from small towns along the polish border. both of them passed through ellis island. neither warren or i ever knew the real names of our grandparents. they both lived in the lower manhattan eastside. neither one could make a living
there. both of them migrated north. both of them ended up in maine. we have a lot of common. my family stayed there. warren's went to move to new hampshire. our motto was, "that is the way life should be." new hampshire was, "live free or die." [laughter] he lives truly free, and he was prepared to fight for that freedom. we shared a moderate republican philosophy. i always try to approach issues wearing a velvet glove. warren wore brass knuckles.
in fact, we gave him the nickname "sledgehammer." it is a blunt instrument that hurts you when it hits. he was the sledgehammer in all of our hearings. the one thing we talked about this afternoon is his honor, honesty, and his humor. not a word about his humility. that will be a very short subject for me to discuss today. [laughter] he did not believe the meek shall inherit the earth. he loves combat in every way. there's always a sense of combat in warren. he fought for a principal and separation of church and state and he thought for a friend, justice souter, howard baker, bob dole, and certainly john
mccain. last night i spent hours re- reading warren's memoir "combat." i found out he was a great judge of character. on senator mitchell, he said, "george could utter the most partisan statements and still sound as innocent as a choir boy." [laughter] he said, "he is such a man of intelligence and charm, i could disagree with him and still be his friend." on senator biden, "joe was smart, young, ambitious, disorganized, and bursting with energy and enthusiasm." what has changed? on david souter, he said on david souter, he said something -- each of us